MLS Playoffs

Columbus Crew SC vs. Nashville SC | How to watch and stream

Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs  – Conference Semifinals
Columbus Crew SC vs. Nashville SC
MAPFRE Stadium – Columbus
November 29 – 8:00 PM ET

TV: ESPN, ESPN Deportes, TSN 4, TVA Sports


After stunning Toronto FC in Round One, Nashville SC are hoping to continue a magical and historic expansion run in the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs, but Columbus Crew SC are not about to make it easy, especially with the possibility of hosting MLS Cup at MAPFRE Stadium opening up after Round One losses by the Philadelphia Union and Toronto FC. 

With the exception of the Seattle Sounders victory over LAFC, Caleb Porter's Crew had arguably the most impressive performance of Round One, defeating the New York Red Bulls 3-2 at MAPFRE Stadium last Sunday. Darlington Nagbe, Lucas Zelarayan, Gyasi Zardes and Pedro Santos all stepped up big for the Crew, who overcame an early deficit to score three consecutive goals before conceding late. 

Nashville SC opened eyes with a comprehensive Play-In win over Inter Miami CF and then sent shockwaves through MLS with a 1-0 win over Toronto FC in Round One Tuesday night. After several near misses, Daniel Rios scored the game-winner in the second half of extra time to ensure one of Major League Soccer's newest teams are one of the last eight standing in the postseason. 

The teams have met once during the regular season, with Columbus securing a 2-0 win at MAPFRE Stadium on Sept. 19. Santos broke the stalemate five minutes into the second half and Zardes added the insurance tally in stoppage time. 

Columbus Crew SC

The Crew's stars shined bright in a Round One win over the New York Red Bulls. The visitors struck first, but Pedro Santos struck from the spot just three minutes later. Nagbe broke the deadlock just 23 seconds into the second half and the momentum carried into the 68th minute when Gyasi Zardes cushioned a looping header back across goal for the 3-1 lead. He latched onto a deep cross from former Red Bulls Homegrown Derrick Etienne Jr. at the back post, then supplied the eventual game-winner.

It's a win, Porter believes, is a clear statement of intent from his side to make the deepest of postseason runs. 

"I really like when I walked in the locker room, just seeing the look in the guys' eyes,” Porter said. “I've been in locker rooms a lot of years and the teams that win championships, they're very business-like and that's what they looked like after the game. It was almost like they were onto the next immediately. So that's what you want to see out of your group and I thought the guys were extremely hungry."

The Crew initially announced Wednesday that four players have tested positive for COVID-19, with six total positive results eventually reported. 

Porter said he's encouraged by the rest of his team's ability to adapt on the fly to the challenging circumstances and relying on the habits and routine they've managed to establish.

"It's been challenging. We've had to adapt," Porter said. "We've had to modify our preparation. What I would say is we've had other tough weeks as well. It reminds me a lot of the week where we had to postpone the Orlando game, last-minute changes to what we're doing. Our guys have been unbelievable, they've been like they have all year: Resilient. We see it, you rely on your chemistry, your unity, your relationships and the habits, the mental toughness, you rely on all those things in these situations and the players have been outstanding just to roll with it and here we are with the game still on. The players are excited to keep moving on in this tournament and to try and achieve our goal." 

Project Starting XI

  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Vito Wormgoor (D) - ankle injury
    • OUT: Eloy Room (GK) - undisclosed injury
    • OUT: Derrick Etienne (M) - undisclosed injury
    • OUT: Waylon Francis (D) - undisclosed injury
    • OUT: Miguel Berry (F) - undisclosed injury
    • OUT: Jon Kempin (GK) - undisclosed injury
    • OUT: Sebastian Berhalter (M) - undisclosed injury
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty:  None

Nashville SC

Nashville SC stunned MLS by beating a Toronto FC side that played in the MLS Cup Final three times in the last four years. The win came in extratime, via a Rios goal in the 108th minute. But Gary Smith's team showed over the course of 120 minutes the goal was no fluke. It was far from their only scoring chance in a game they outshot Toronto FC 21-12 and Nashville had three other goals called back due to offside. 

You can call it an upset, but also give the expansion side their due for an impressive victory. 

Nashville are one of only two expansion teams in MLS history to advance this deep in the playoffs – the other being the Chicago Fire of 1998, who went on to win MLS Cup. Could Nashville pull off such a feat, too?

“We need a little bit of fortune and you need your players to stay healthy and available, certainly your better ones,” said Smith, himself a 2010 MLS Cup winner with Colorado. “But everyone in that locker room believes we can. Absolutely. There's not a single player in there that doesn't believe that we can get to the final and go on and win it.”

With all three of their attacking Designated Players coming into form, things are trending upward at the right time and Nashville have outscored their opponents 7-2 in their last three games. They believe there's more in their tank when they face the Crew.

“The addition of Jhonder [Cadiz] has I think helped the group," Smith said. "Hany [Mukhtar] is coming back from some niggly problems. Randall [Leal]'s probably been the most productive out of our attacking group of players. And now to bring all three of them together and to see him producing on the field, I think puts a little bit of doubt in an opponent's mind, but also gives the rest of the group another dimension and a lift. So, it's certainly very, very pleasing to see all three of them out there."

Project Starting XI

  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Jack Maher (D) - undisclosed injury
    • OUT: Anibal Godoy (M) - hamstring injury
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty:  None

Series Matchup at Crew SC

  • Crew SC: 1 win, 2 goals
  • Nashville SC: 0 wins, 0 goals
  • 0 draws

MLS Cup Playoffs

  • This is the first all-time meeting between Columbus Crew SC and Nashville SC in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs


  • Referee: Armando Villarreal
  • Assistant Referees: Andrew Bigelow, Cory Richardson
  • 4th Official: Nima Saghafi
  • VAR: Jon Freemon
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Previous Meetings

Current Form


Season Stats

Columbus Crew SCNashville SC
24Games Played25
23Goals Conceded22
102Shots on Target108
318Fouls committed352
325Fouls suffered283

Goals Scored


Goals Conceded

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